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Rainbow Divider
MCM Broadcast

TV Broadcast #1028

Whatever It Takes
Part One

June 17, 2012

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Transcript of message from TV Broadcast 1028 -- taken from Closed Captioning Text

— Brother Phil Enlow: Praise the Lord. I don’t know how long this will take this morning, but it’s so evident from the service, from the men’s meeting, from what different ones have expressed that there is a stirring going on in hearts. There’s a hunger that God is arousing in many. There’s a deep dealing with heart issues that’s going on, and one after another testifies to it. I was just blessed so greatly and humbled this morning as I listened in the men’s meeting. I just sat there and listened. It was wonderful. So many just expressed their heart and that’s the way it should be. There was a freedom to do that and I just appreciate it.

You know, there’s a scripture that says, to whom much is given, of them shall much be required. And I’ll tell you, we have…the Lord has given us a heritage here and a knowledge and a revelation, I believe, of Him over the decades now, that I believe He is really wanting us to walk in and not simply treat like a religious tradition.

( congregational amens ).

We are in a unique time. I believe it’s the end of the age. I certainly have no idea about the time frame and that’s up to God, it’s not my job, not yours to worry about that. All our job is to do is to seek God and do what He says. That’s what Brother Thomas used to say, and that’s exactly right. It’s real simple, isn’t it? Until we come to try to do it and then we run into all kinds of obstacles that want to rise up, but that’s where we need the Lord to help us.

But you know, we do deal with issues of self. Jo talked and expressed exactly…I mean, everything that’s been said this morning, I could have said, I guess. But how much there’s a yearning in our hearts to want more of the Lord, and at the same time there’s a fear—there’s this tug of war going on that just holds us back and the devil wants to jump in and fill us with ‘what ifs’ and ‘oh my God, it’s gonna be terrible.’

And I’ll tell you what…I’ll tell you the one who’s afraid. That’s the Devil. He is scared silly that there will be a people who will not only want God with a blank check, but they’ll want Him together—that there will be a real vehicle, if you will, of expression of the Lord in the earth. I mean, that’s what the Father had when Jesus walked the earth, isn’t it? He had a vessel without any limitations…just, I’m Yours. I’m not here to do My own will, I’m here to do the will of the Father who sent Me.

And you know, He said on one occasion, when He was a boy He had this sense all His life, even though He had to wait the proper time, there was that one occasion when He was 12 years old, He said, don’t you know I must be about my Father’s business? And you know, I wonder sometimes how much of the Father’s business we’re about and how much of it’s ours. But I believe God is helping us.

Like I said, I don’t even know how to put it into words. I had this strong burden and just yearning in my heart last night, just a sense of need starting with me. There’s not one of us who can stand up and say, look, I’ve entered into all of this and now here’s how you do it, ‘a-b-c.’ It isn’t that way at all. I believe God is stirring a deep hunger.

We are in a, as I say, unique time in history. We are sitting here watching, if you have any eyes to see, you’re watching the Devil gradually strangle the world system. I mean, he’s had it, in a sense, but there’s been a restraint that I believe has been loosed and we’re seeing values crumble here, everywhere. And it just seems like it’s relentless and yet we know to expect it. That’s what the Word tells us, that we’re gonna see these things at the end of the age. We’re gonna see a climax of the Devil’s hold and his grip on mankind. But the Lord’s promised never to leave us nor forsake us, hasn’t He?

( congregational response ).

And I believe there’s a corresponding thing that’s going to be happening in God’s Kingdom. We’re gonna see a lot of things torn down, but we’re gonna see God’s people begin to come together in greater ways. I don’t know all of God’s plan, but I have this…here we are in a religious context that…well, those of you that sat under Brother Thomas, you know he regularly referred to Babylon. Well, that’s a pretty good description of the confused state of things where you’ve got a gazillion different traditions and ideas and religious concepts out there. And my God, I just have this sense that I need Him.

( congregational amens ).

I don’t know how to sort it all out. I believe He’s given light and conviction in many areas and I want to be faithful to that, but I don’t want to ever think that hey, now I’ve got a handle on it. All we have to do is just put this in a neat little package, hand it out to the people. Do it and just go on about our lives. That’s not what it’s about. We have been called to a journey with a Shepherd who has promised to lead us all the way.

And He’s promised to lead us in ways that we haven’t gone. We’re not here to just practice Bible Tabernacle tradition and religion. We need the Son of God to come and shine light. There’s things that I don’t understand that I believe we’re gonna need to understand. And I know who has the answers, and there’s a hunger in my heart to get beyond, to push all this junk aside and say, oh God, give us the unvarnished truth and give us the courage to embrace it and walk in it and…let the chips fall where they may.

Do it with grace. We don’t have to beat people over the head with it. But Jesus…that’s all He did. He simply went out speaking words the Father had given to Him! And He wasn’t…in one sense He wasn’t concerned with ‘oh my God, there’s a crowd, we just lost them.’ There’s one thing! Just do the Father’s will! Give out the Word! Why? Because He understood some things that I want to understand in a greater way so that I can have more rest and less fear! I want to know that God is the author of what we’re about. If He’s not, then we are, and all we have is a religious playhouse that will accomplish nothing. We need Him to be the builder—we need Christ to be the builder of His church which is what He’s promised to do.

And I’ll tell you, we need to be able, as Jesus did, to preach the Word and know that the Father has the power to draw them that are His. Why? Because…what Jesus did was only half of the equation. The rest of it was, everyone that has heard and learned from the Father comes to Me. He understood that there were people who had been prepared to receive the Word, the message of hope that He had. And so His job wasn’t to stress over the process, it was to do the Father’s will.

And I pray that God will so work in us as a people, not just me and few leaders, a few this and that, but all of us, to begin to do some really definite praying. And I believe there’s a whole lot of it going on, but I mean I just sense the need for certain prayers to be specific. And I feel challenged in my own heart and I want to share that challenge ‘cause I don’t think it’s just me. I believe the Lord is saying, cry out to Me! You need to be willing to lay your own ideas on the altar.

What the problem today is people have been spoiled by religion. They have been brought up in or exposed to certain religious ideas and ways, and after a while to them that becomes right! Well folks, we need Him! Because the fellow down the street thinks He’s right, too. And they’re diametrically opposed in this area and that one. We just need real light to come, and like I say, a commitment to this Book.

I love what my dad used to say. He said, you ask me what I believe…I don’t understand it all, but if it’s in here I believe it. You see the commitment. But that was what enabled him to leave the halls of religion and to actually become a part of this work. And you know, the thing is, I also remember something else he said…when I came here I thought all I needed was a little tune-up, but I found out I needed a major overhaul. Of course, Brother Thomas added that he needed a new engine.

( laughter ).

Well that may be true, too. But you know, we have all kind of illusions about ourselves that need to be shattered. We think much more highly of ourselves than we ought to think and we need a soberness and an honesty and a willingness to come out into the light and say, God, shine Your light. I refuse to be afraid of Your light.

You know, I’ve mentioned several times recently my correspondence with a prisoner out in the Midwest. And he writes voluminous letters…I guess he has the time to do it, but whatever. But my word, how challenged I am every time I read one of his letters. It was within the last year or two that man was in jail awaiting trial, trying to figure out what to do, accused of a serious crime. The prosecutor was going after him with both guns blazing and threatening him with long prison sentence, and one thing and another. And, ‘what do I do, oh my God’ and ‘what if’ and just in a stew.

But in that time, God began to deal with him somewhere along in the process, God got a hold of his heart and enabled him to just give it all to God. How many of you would be helped if you would just take whatever is going on in your life and just give it to him? Like, you think you can fix it? Good luck! We need God. But you know, he referred in a letter I finally got to open and really sit down and read, because you can’t just sort of glance at his letters, you’ve got to sit down and read them. And he referred back to that period of time when he was in jail and going through all that turmoil, and he said there was something he prayed. He said, Lord, I just give you everything. Do in me whatever needs doing. I’m using my words now. But whatever it takes, do what’s needed in me.

And that’s an easy prayer to talk about and give mental assent to, but I sensed the Lord’s challenge in his words. What if a congregation of people covenanted together to pray that from their heart? Good God, what would happen? Do you suppose there might be some things changed? But do you suppose some divine life and power might just get released?

Well this man is writing from a perspective where you wouldn’t recognize him as the same man. His letters are just full of the joy of the Lord. But the reason he pointed back to that…he said, I had no idea—I had no idea. And here I am in prison…and the term wasn’t as long as he feared, but he’s in prison, and it’s turned into the most powerful, wonderful time of his life. He has just had time to pray, to seek the Lord, and he’s just rejoicing in the simplest things.

And he’s full of the joy of the Lord and he’s sharing Christ with people. I mean, he’s a transformed individual. And the fact that he happens to be behind bars is immaterial. He’s just full of the joy of the Lord. God has just done amazing things. But the other thing he points out, he says, the more I go, I keep running into things. I keep looking down and the Lord shows me things in my heart and it’s pretty painful!

Now I know there’s some folks here that know exactly what I’m talking about. That’s why I say, we live with such illusions about ourselves that…oh God, we just are so afraid that God will shatter our illusions and that it will take away all of our hope. But thank God, that isn’t how it works! The very thing that we fear the greatest is God’s greatest hand of love reaching out to us! He’s got to show us the ugly before He can pour in the beautiful, and that’s Himself. Oh praise God!

I’ll tell you what, we look around and we’re just a small ragtag group of people, we’re nobody in the grand scheme of things, but God is just looking for a people. He doesn’t need numbers, does He? He seemed to do pretty well with Gideon’s army, didn’t He? He had to do a little bit of stripping down and bringing them down to where…my God, there’s 1,000’s of soldiers out there, we’ve got 300 people. This is ridiculous, what’s the plan here? But oh, God had a plan. They didn’t need numbers, they needed God. And you had a people that had covenanted together to do things God’s way…oh my, God can do the most amazing things with anybody that just is given to Him.

He took 12 men who were fishermen and various other things, one a tax collector, and He turned the world upside down. Because it wasn’t them, it was Christ in them! That’s what God is seeking to have! But my God, this is not just a sort of deluxe version of Christianity that’s for a handful, while the rest are just kind of spectators, warming a bench, saying, amen, that was great, going home and eating chicken, or whatever it is you eat. But you get the picture. Isn’t that what happens so much?

( congregational response ).

What would happen if a people from their hearts said, God do in me whatever is needed? I imagine every one of us who has had a real burden for somebody else has reached the point where the need is so great and we look at them and we say, oh God, just do whatever it takes—do whatever it takes, Lord. But how many of us want to pray that about ourselves? We imagine that God might do this terrible thing to bring them down. What might He do in our lives that would wind up being for His glory in bringing us to a place of freedom and joy and peace and usefulness? I don’t know what the Lord has for us. But we’re not here just to mark time until Jesus comes.

( congregational amens ).

But at the same time, we can’t just work up some program in our own zeal either! That’s not what we need. You know, the first order of business for Jesus when He was baptized, and essentially formally gave His vessel to the Father—laid down His life in the waters of baptism, gave His life to the Father. And the Father came into Him, dwelt in Him, in fullness of power. The first order of business was not to go out and preach to the crowds, was it? What was the first order of business? He went into the wilderness, didn’t He? He went there to be tempted—specifically to be tempted and tested by the Devil!

We’d like to bypass that. If we can just get the right man of God’s faith and power down here and have him lay his hand upon us, prophesy something great, and we go forth and do mighty things for God. It doesn’t work that way. We’re not fit to do mighty things for God without God possessing us first. And who am I to be standing up here and saying this? Several expressed that in the men’s meeting this morning. It was wonderful. You had expressions of real hunger and desire and insight and all of that, and at the same time, this deep sense of ‘my God, who am I to be saying these things’?

But oh, we’ve got to say them. We’ve got to say, oh God, You have called us to the kingdom for such a time as this. Are we going to sit here and just kind of mark time, or are we gonna cry out? You think of the people in Acts chapter 4 when they beat the apostles and they came back to report to the company what had happened. What was their result? What were they concerned about? Were they concerned about safety? Were they concerned about, oh God, do something. Go get those bad men who did this! Rain fire and brimstone down upon their heads, oh God!

There wasn’t anything about that. It was, oh God, You reign in heaven and earth! Things are happening according to Your almighty purpose and plan. God, bring to pass what You have purposed to do, and don’t let us back down and just be on the sidelines! God, give us courage! Give us boldness, that we might speak the Word with boldness, Lord! This is not a time to back down, this is a time to go forward and stand fast for the work of God! What happened? God’s power came down and shook the place!

My God, we need that kind of an earthquake. And I’ll tell you, I believe with all my heart, God is longing to find a people in this hour that will take Him that seriously. If you read the writings of Paul, you read the writings of a man who, you could call him obsessed, I guess, but his life was about the purpose of God. I’m just…my mind was just blown listening to different ones this morning in the men’s meeting and hearing the words that have been said, that are just exactly the things that I’ve been thinking about. The purpose, the sense that my life has a reason—I’m here for a reason! I’m not just a digit in God’s kingdom. I’m actually here for a purpose. God, the sovereign God who created all things, has a reason, He has something that He’s doing! We’re headed towards a goal and I’m a part of that! And I don’t want to just mindlessly miss that. I want to be a part of that.

I want my knowledge…look at some scripture. You can read the things that he said to believers in Ephesians. You can almost look at any one of his letters and get the same essential thought. But turn to Ephesians, familiar scriptures. He goes on in rapturous language about this purpose that ultimately will result in everything in heaven and earth that belongs to Christ is going to be brought together in a glorious climax. This is the purpose of God. Everything is pointing toward that! God had laid the foundation, He’s made a provision dealing with our sin and our need! He’s given us a Savior who is all powerful, and one day that’s gonna happen.

But then he says in verse 15, “For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. I keep asking…” (NIV). Now here’s the content of his prayer. “I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom.…”

He’s not talking to the preacher. This whole business, this pastor system they have today is not in the Bible. You don’t find it there. This was to the people! This was to everybody in the congregation, if you want to call them congregation, everybody in the assembly! I keep asking that He, “…May give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better.”

God wants a people who are not just mindlessly maneuvered along like pieces on a chessboard. We are sons and daughters of the living God, and while it’s true we are clay in the Potter’s hand, we are meant to be intelligent, cooperative clay. You’re putting it like, be the clay…you can almost take that as a passive thing. Okay, I’m just gonna quit doing anything and God’s gonna do whatever. But it isn’t that. There’s a sense of engagement that God is looking for from His people. There’s a sense where I know what God’s purpose is so that I can intelligently receive from Him, I can walk with Him in faith because I know it’s going somewhere. You know, the scripture was quoted about all things working together, “…for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his…”

( congregational response ).

“Purpose.” That’s it. There’s a purpose involved in the work of God in our lives. Paul was engaged in that with all of his heart and that’s what he longed to impart to the people. And so his prayer for the people was this.